Freelance photography jobs are plentiful and increasing. From weddings to senior pictures and family photos to first birthday celebrations, there is an endless supply of clients on a local level. And luckily this is one of the few home business opportunities that requires no formal training.
Even though amateurs are welcome in this industry, there are things you can do to increase your credibility and land more gigs. Brian Berkowitz from Business Tour Photos has stopped by today to share his experience becoming a Google Street View Trusted Photographer and how it has helped him get more freelance photography jobs all around.
What was your motivation to become a Google Street View Trusted Photographer?
I started off as a wedding photographer. I was looking for a way to shift into the commercial photography space and I felt that being a Google Trusted photographer was the best way to do it. Allowing myself to be associated with Google as a photographer gives me instant credibility.
What is Google looking for in photographers?
Google is looking for people that understand photography, have specific set of equipment needed for the Business View shoots and people with a drive and motivation to go out and get business to have tours taken of their facilities.
What is the application process like?
Note: The Google Trusted Photographer program has since changed to Street View Trusted. To qualify, you need to have a minimum of fifty published 360 photos. You will then receive a special invitation via the app and be marketed as a trusted photographer and be asked to join Local Guides. As a result, some of the information within this interview may be outdated.
The actual application process is pretty simple. Once applied, then it becomes a waiting game! I didn't get approved into the program for about a year and a half after I applied. Then once I got in, I had to then start my training and tests to make sure I was capable.
How much can photographer expect to earn? When and how are payments collected?
We receive payment before the shoot or last the day of the shoot. Every photographer has their own payment methods they accept. For instance, I can accept cash, check or any major credit card. The amount you can earn is really up to the individual photographer. Actual shoots depend on the size of the location, but I have shot facilities ranging from $400-$3000. The more the photographer is motivated to go out and sell, the more he or she can earn. Potential is unlimited.
What's the day in the life of a Google Trusted Photographer like?
When I am not out on the road shooting, a good part of the day is spent following up with leads by email or phone. We typically also spend a good part of the day creating new leads, whether through referrals, door to door or cold calls. The remainder of the day is spent processing and creating the tours from previous shoots.
What tips do you have for those hoping to apply?
Make sure you have the required equipment to be a Google Trusted photographer, or willing to invest in it as soon as you get accepted. Then just be patient!
Any must-have photography business tools you recommend?
Obviously the required photography equipment. A good booking software is also essential to help manage invoicing and payments. There are dozens of free online tools that offer this. I personally use Invoiceable. The software Goole provides is also great for keeping track of leads.